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Tuley's Take on Tuesday NCAA schedule

By Dave Tuley  ( senior reporter) 

March 6, 2018 12:50 AM

I lost my best bet on Monday with San Francisco plus 13 against Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference Tournament here in Las Vegas at The Orleans Arena.

It wasn’t close as Gonzaga sprinted out to an early lead and San Fran was never able to mount a run to even get close to the spread in an 88-60 loss. I’ve had a great start to this month, so I take solace in the saying that you can’t win ‘em all. I still trust the process so one blowout loss doesn’t diminish my confidence, especially as it was a rout by a team that was supposed to win easily.

Personally, I wish I had pulled the trigger on my other suggested play of BYU 5.5 against Saint Mary’s. I’m not trying to take credit for BYU’s 85-72 upset, but I did state that if you were among those that believed that Saint Mary’s is already in the NCAA field that you could consider a play on BYU as a live dog. Hopefully some newsletter readers did that.

As for Tuesday’s action, most of the games early in this week are in the one-bid leagues (note: I was also glad that I didn’t fade College of Charleston on Monday) so I’m passing all of those. I’m also sitting out Day 1 of the ACC Tournament. I’ve got my eye on bubble teams Notre Dame and Syracuse later in the week when they will need to knock off some teams that have already punched their tickets to the Big Dance, so I’m not going to fade them (but also not looking to lay points with them as favorites on Tuesday).

So I return to the West Coast Conference for tonight’s best bet:

West Coast Conference (Orleans Arena, Las Vegas)

BYU (line TBD) vs. Gonzaga 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT (ESPN2)

As stated yesterday, Gonzaga is obviously solidly in the NCAA field. Granted, the Bulldogs certainly looked motivated to win the conference tournament with their two games so far this week, but I’m fading them anyway. This is being written just as BYU finished its upset of Saint Mary’s after 10:15 p.m. PT, so no line is posted yet. However, Gonzaga was favored by 12 points at home on Feb. 3 and then favored by 5.5 at BYU on Feb. 24, so this should fall right between around Gonzaga -8. The Zags did win the last meeting by 12 points, but they only won the first meeting by 8, so it’s not inconceivable for the Cougars to stay close enough to cover, and when you factor in their need to win the game in order to make the NCAA Tournament, I see this being even closer, especially if Monday night’s performance against Saint Mary’s is any indication.

Best bet: BYU plus 6 or better (though, again, I’m expecting this to be closer to plus 8, especially with Gonzaga’s rout on Monday night).

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